Wild Scottish Chaga Chunks
Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) are found in the northern forests around the globe. They particularly like to grow on birch trees, and take many years to reach a good size.
There is a tradition of drinking chaga mushroom tea going back many hundreds of years - maybe even thousands of years.
The resulting tea is very dark and contains a range of antioxidants, including a nutrient called melanin.
Chaga tea has a faint hint of vanilla flavour, and so adding a little more vanilla powder or essence to your tea makes a very pleasing drink.
Chaga contains many nutrients that can boost your health, including plenty of antioxidants and:
- B complex vitamins
- Vitamin D
- Amino acids
- Beta Glucans
- Super-Oxide Dismutase (SOD)
There is no standard serving size or nutrition information readily available for chaga. The nutrients per serving will vary.
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To make Chaga Tea for 2 people
Find a non reactive pan, like an enamelled pan, and add approx 25g of chaga mushroom chunks along with 1 litre of good quality water.
Bring to a gentle boil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Strain the tea into your cup and if you would like to add something to it to flavour it, now is the time.
If you are going to drink chaga tea regularly, then just top up the pan with more water, cover and leave until you next want a cup - heat up and repeat the process.
Otherwise, take out the chaga and keep covered in the fridge for your next brew.
Chaga chunks will continue to make a good tea for maybe 20 reheats so it is very economical to use.
Do remember that you are taking out the water soluble components when you brew tea. It is also possible to conserve the components that are released by an alcohol extraction. To do this you can use the spent chaga chunks you have been brewing for tea - add them to some high strength alcohol - like a 70% vodka (you will find how to make herbal tinctures on line) Leave this to soak for several weeks, strain and bottle.
For a super powerful cup of tea, you could then add a small amount of home made chaga tincture to your cup of chaga tea. Wonderful!
If you would like to know more there is a very good book by David Wolfe called Chaga - King of the Mushrooms
To consider before you use chaga: you need to make sure it’s the right decision for you. While generally considered safe, with a long history of use widely around the world, no studies have confirmed ideal dosing for humans, nor the safety of the mushroom in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
Finally, there is always the possibility that chaga could interact with different types of medications, including blood thinners and insulin. In this case, it would be wise double-check with your medical professional before you choose to experience the benefits of chaga.